Fitbit Details its ‘Sleep Profile Animals’ and What They Mean
Fitbit’s Sleep Profile feature provides users with an adorable critter to describe their sleep, and now the company is sharing the science behind it.
This unique feature uses six different animals to represent the most common human sleeping patterns, as discovered through Fitbit’s sleep data analysis.
Every month, Fitbit Premium Sleep Profile subscribers receive an assignment of a sleep animal that describes their sleep from the previous month.
Introduced last year, Sleep Profile offers a detailed monthly analysis of sleep patterns, requiring a minimum of 14 nights of data.
Fitbit’s research scientist, Karla Gleichauf, explains that this was a multi-year effort to explore the existence of different types of sleepers. By analyzing over 1,000 sleep features, such as wake time consistency and sleep cycle length, the Fitbit team used machine learning to identify six distinct sleep types.
To make this information more relatable, Fitbit researchers collaborated with product colleagues to find creative ways to represent the sleep types.
After considering various options, they decided to use animals as they evoke a positive connection and eliminate negative associations. With the help of ethnographers and animal experts, they assigned animals to each sleep type: bear, dolphin, hedgehog, giraffe, parrot, and tortoise.
Since the launch of Sleep Profile, the team has gathered valuable insights. As of September 2022, the giraffe, characterized by shorter yet deeper sleep periods and early wake-up times, was the most common sleep animal.
On the other hand, the dolphin, associated with lighter and shorter sleep with extended periods of wakefulness, was the least common.
By providing personalized sleep animal assignments, Fitbit aims to enhance users’ awareness of their sleep health and encourage positive sleep habits.